Saturday, September 15, 2012

Budgeting Ideas for Creatives

I'm a horrible budgeter... as in, I never budget. I kind of keep in the back of my mind how much money I have and I try never to go over that... which I feel like I generally succeed at. But I don't actually sit down and plan out how much to spend (or not spend) in each category of my life. I have made budgets in the past, but never seem to be able to stick to them. I think maybe my brain just doesn't operate that way.

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Have you heard of Outright? It's a keep-track-of-your-money website that has bank-level encryption and security that I signed up for a couple years ago during one of my boring afternoons at work (back before I left work to start taking classes again). Like most budgeting plans, I set it up and then never looked at it again.

Well they emailed me today enticing me to check in and use my account a little more actively. I was like, "Outright? Oh yeah, I forgot about that site!" Lol.

It was actually pretty interesting going back over my finances for the last couple years. I especially liked the graphs showing income/expenses per month. The visual side of my brain loves that sort of thing.

The kicker was... with the exception of two months, every single month showed more spending than income. (And I wonder why I'm always broke.) The even crazier part was... the spending was generally just a little itty bitty bit more than the income every month. Meaning that I always just slightly spend over my means. I'm like the goldfish who grows (or shrinks) according to what size bowl I'm in. Sigh...

Which makes me think...

Since I've set up a plethora of budgets over the years and never seem to look at them after I set them up, what if I just made it simple for my right-brained mind... what if I just flat out save 10% or 20% of every incoming piece of money, whether that be from Etsy, school loans, wherever. (Of course this plan requires that I not also borrow steal from my savings to buy things like new iPads or tennis shoes).

This should work, right? It would sort of create a buffer zone that I would barely notice but would be ensuring that my income always stays more than my outgo. I think my right-brain could wrap itself around that.

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If you're a right-brain creative, do you have trouble with budgeting? Do you force yourself to kick your left-brain analytic side in gear or have you found a right-brained way of dealing with these things?

2 comments:

  1. I am not good at budgeting either, especially with student money because my bank account gets a huge deposit twice a year so I feel like I have more than I do...when I realize that has to last 6 months. Hopefully I'll have a good job when I graduate and it just won't be an issue anymore...

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  2. Well, I'm definitely not a "right-brain creative", but taking bits off the top sounds like a good plan. It works for giving also - take out what you're going to give to the church/missionary/organization/etc. and what you're going to save, then you can spend the rest based on need/want without worrying as much about making it stretch.

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